EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke lit orange by the flames below.
Officials in East Palestine, Ohio, notified residents that an evacuation order remained in place early Saturday for people within a mile of the scene. A high school and community center were opened to shelter dozens of people, while residents beyond that radius were urged to stay inside.
No injuries were reported. There was no immediate information about what caused the derailment or what the train carried.
Mayor Trent Conaway told reporters during a Saturday morning news conference that firefighters from three states responded due to the location of the derailment about 51 miles (82 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh and within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the tip of West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle.
Freezing temperatures in the single digits complicated the response as trucks pumping water froze, Conway said.
Hazmat crews also responded to the scene to determine whether hazardous materials were involved, he said.
Rail operator Norfolk Southern said in a brief statement that it has personnel on-site coordinating with local first responders.
The fire created so much smoke that meteorologists from the region said it was visible on weather radar.
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